NFC stands for Near Field Communication and lets you quickly share various files with other mobile devices, make payments via services like Google Pay, and more. Most high-end smartphones have NFC on board these days, while the same can’t be said for mid-range and budget handset.
If you’re in the market for an NFC-enabled smartphone, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find the best phones with NFC at different price points below.
Best high-end phone with NFC: Galaxy Note 9
The Galaxy Note 9 has NFC on board and also supports Samsung Pay, allowing you to make purchases with your handset. It was announced in August and is one of the best smartphones you can get your hands on.
It sports a large 6.4-inch display with QHD+ resolution and is powered by the Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset, depending on the region. You’ll find a dual-camera setup on the back with two 12MP sensors featuring dual aperture and scene recognition. In terms of design, the device looks similar to its predecessor, with the biggest difference being the fingerprint scanner that’s located below the cameras instead of next to them.
The device also comes with the S Pen, which is a signature feature of the Note series. It now supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) that lets you do things like launch the camera and take a selfie via the button on the stylus. The Galaxy Note 9 is already on sale with a starting price of $1,000 — 6 GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There’s also a beefed-up version with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage available, which will set you back a whopping $1,250.
- 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with 2,960 x 1,440 resolution, 516 ppi
- Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset — depending on the region
- 6/8GB of RAM
- 128/512GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 512GB
- Dual 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
- Non-removable 4,000mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
- 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm, 201g
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: In praise of incrementalism
- The 5 features that make the Galaxy Note 9 great
- Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Which Galaxy do you belong to?
- 7 things you can do with the Galaxy Note 9’s Bluetooth S Pen
Huawei P20 and P20 Pro
The P20 and P20 Pro are Huawei’s latest flagships and made their debut in March. The Pro model offers more in the specs department and is the first smartphone with a triple-camera setup on the back. It’s equipped with a 6.1-inch AMOLED display, packs the latest Kirin 970 chipset under the hood, and has 6GB of RAM. It also sports a large 4,000 mAh battery and has an iPhone-X like notch that not everyone is a fan of.
The P20 is more or less identical to the Pro in the design department and similar when it comes to specs. However, it does have a smaller 5.8-inch LCD display, features two cameras on the back instead of three, and comes with 4GB of RAM. It also has a smaller battery at 3,400 mAh and offers less protection against water and dust (IP53 vs IP67). Both smartphones are already available in Europe and many other markets, with the U.S. not being one of them.
The OnePlus 6 offers a great price-performance ratio. It sports a 6.28-inch display with Full HD+ resolution and an aspect ratio of 19:9. You’ll find the Snapdragon 845 chipset under the hood along with 6 or 8GB of RAM. This makes it one of the most powerful smartphones out there, although it lacks a few features you get with the Note 9 and other flagships.
These include an IP rating, wireless charging, and expandable storage, among other things. But it does have a headphone jack, one of the best Android skins out there, and, of course, NFC. The entry-level OnePlus 6 retails for $529 (6GB/64GB), while the most expensive model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage goes for $629.
Best mid-range phone with NFC: Moto Z3 Play
In addition to NFC, which you won’t find on all mid-range smartphones, the Moto Z3 Play also supports Moto Mods. These attach to the back of the device via magnets and add new features to the smartphone or improve existing ones. There are quite a few of them available including a speaker, battery, projector, and more — see full list here.
The Moto Z3 Play sports a 6-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display and is powered by the Snapdragon 636 chipset. It comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage in the U.S., while some other markets get a beefed-up variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It might not be able to take on the Galaxy S9 and other high-end models, but it still packs more than enough power under the hood for the average user.
The smartphone isn’t waterproof, but it does have a water-repellent coating. It supports expandable storage, has a dual-camera setup on the back, and sports a 3,000 mAh battery. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a headphone jack on board. Motorola’s mid-ranger retails for $500 on the company’s website.
- 6.0-inch Super AMOLED display with 2.160 x 1,080 resolution, 402 ppi
- Snapdragon 636 chipset
- 4/6GB of RAM
- 64/128GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 512GB
- Dual 12MP rear cameras, 5MP front camera
- Non-removable 3,000mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
- 156.5 x 70.5 x 6.75mm, 156g
- Moto Z3 Play review: The value is still in the Moto Mods
- Moto Z3 Play specs: A leap in power, but what about everything else?
- Spec showdown: Moto Z3 Play vs the competition
Asus Zenfone 5 ZE620KL
Announced at MWC 2018 in Barcelona, the Zenfone 5 offers powerful speakers, a rear dual-camera setup, and decent specs. It also looks like the iPhone X, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on who you ask.
The smartphone sports a 6.2-inch Full HD+ display and packs the Snapdragon 636 chipset along with 4/6GB of RAM under the hood. Other features worth mentioning include NFC, a headphone jack, and a 3,300mAh battery. The device is already available in Germany and other European markets, where it retails for 400 euros. This translates to around $465, but the price is expected to be lower when the phone is released in the U.S.
Nokia 7 Plus
The Nokia 7 Plus is an upgraded version of the Nokia 7, which launched back in October 2017. It has a larger display (6.0 vs 5.2 inches), a newer chipset (Snapdragon 660 vs 630), and a bigger battery (3,800 vs 3,000mAh). It also has a dual-camera setup on the back and features the “Bothie” mode that lets you use front and back cameras simultaneously for split-screen photos and videos.
The handset is part of Google’s Android One initiative, which guarantees a pure, bloat-free OS experience and timely updates. It comes with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. Nokia’s mid-ranger also has a modern design with relatively thin bezels and an aluminum body that looks and feels premium — although it lacks a “wow” factor that would set it apart from the competition. It’s already available in certain European markets, where you can get if for 390 euros.
Best budget phone with NFC: Nokia 3
It can be hard to find a great NFC-enabled smartphone in the budget category. The best choice right now is arguably the Nokia 3, which currently retails for just 123 euros (~$143).
The Nokia 3 can handle surfing the web just fine, but it's not great for gaming.
The smartphone’s specs won’t blow your socks off, as it comes with a 5-inch HD display and is powered by the MediaTek MT6737 chipset paired with 2GB of RAM. It can handle browsing the web and checking social media just fine, but it’s not great when it comes to gaming or multitasking — at least when compared to more expensive smartphones.
Nokia’s budget-friendly smartphone has two 8MP cameras (front and back), packs a 2,630mAh battery, and offers 16GB of storage that can be expanded for an additional 128GB. It runs a stock version of Android Nougat and has an aluminum frame and polycarbonate back. You can get it in four color options.
- 5.0-inch IPS LCD display with 1,280 x 720 resolution, 294 ppi
- MediaTek MT6737 chipset
- 2GB of RAM
- 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
- 8MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
- Non-removable 2,630mAh battery
- Android 7.0 Nougat
- 143.4 x 71.4 x 8.5mm, 140g
Sony Xperia L1
The Xperia L1 made its debut in March 2017. The device comes with a 5.5-inch HD display, the MediaTek MT6737T chipset, and, of course, an NFC chip. It also sports 2GB of RAM, offers 16GB of expandable storage, and has Sony’s Smart Cleaner on board that analyzes how you use your phone, deactivates unused apps, and clears your cache.
Additionally, the handset features what Sony calls the Xperia Actions engine, which adapts the smartphone’s settings and functionality to your surroundings. To give you an example, it can automatically set the device to “Do not disturb” and lower the display brightness at night. Other specs and features include a 13MP camera, a 2,620mAh battery, and Android Nougat with Sony’s custom user interface on top. Unlike the Nokia 3, this smartphone is available in the U.S.
There you have it— these are the best phones with NFC in our opinion. However, there are a lot of other great options out there, so let us know in the comments which ones would you add to this list.